The Eiffel Tower in Paris is said to be riddled with rust and in need of complete repairs.

But the wrought-iron monument will only receive a cosmetic paint job ahead of the 2024 Olympics in the capital, according to confidential reports cited by French magazine Marianne.

The 324 m (1,064 ft) tower is among the most visited tourist sites in the world and welcomes around six million visitors each year.

It was built by Gustave Eiffel at the end of the 19th century.

But confidential expert reports quoted by Marianne suggest it is in poor condition and riddled with rust.

“It’s simple, if Gustave Eiffel visited the place, he would have a heart attack,” an anonymous tower official told the magazine.

Eiffel Tower Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

The tower was designed as the centerpiece of the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris and was intended to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution, as well as show off France’s industrial might.

It took two years to build, using 10,100 tons of iron, was assembled from 18,000 sections and held together by 2.5 million rivets.

It was to be demolished after 20 years, but fitted with a radio antenna and a wireless telegraph transmitter, the French government decided it was too useful to be demolished.

During World War II, Hitler wanted the tower to be taken down, but it clearly survived and the French resistance fighters delivered a small blow for freedom by cutting the elevator cables, forcing the occupying soldiers to climb the 1,665 steps to fly a Nazi flag. from the top.

The tower is currently undergoing a repaint at a cost of £60m (£51.7m) ahead of the 2024 Olympics. This is the 20th time it has been repainted.

About 30% of the tower was supposed to have been stripped and then given two new coats, but delays caused by the COVID pandemic and the presence of lead in the old paint mean only 5% will be treated, Marianne said.

The company that oversees the tower, the Société d’exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), has long been reluctant to close it due to tourism revenue that would be lost, the magazine added.

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